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Report: Malicious 'worm' steals 45,000 Facebook logins

Consumer Reports News: January 06, 2012 10:38 AM

Online security experts have warned that a computer "worm" is winding its way through social media website Facebook. So far, the malware has stolen about 45,000 Facebook members' login information, which criminals are using to help spread the malicious software and potentially gain access to other websites and online services used by the compromised Facebook accounts.

Researchers with Seculert, an online security firm, say the Ramnit malware was first identified in April 2010 and targets Microsoft Windows executable as well as HTML files to steal sensitive information such as FTP credentials and browser cookies. However, a new "financial" variant aimed at stealing Facebook login credentials has been discovered by Seculert technicians. The company says in its blog:

We suspect that the attackers behind Ramnit are using the stolen credentials to log-in to victims' Facebook accounts and to transmit malicious links to their friends... In addition, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the fact that users tend to use the same password in various web-based services (Facebook, Gmail, Corporate SSL VPN, Outlook Web Access, etc.) to gain remote access to corporate networks.

Seculert says it has notified Facebook of its discovery of the compromised accounts, mostly affecting Facebook members in France and the United Kingdom. However, the security experts warn to continue practice safe online habits—carefully examine links on Facebook and never use the same login information for multiple websites.

For more Web surfing safety tips, see Consumer Reports' Guide to online security and computer security software.

Worm steals more than 45,000 Facebook logins" [CNet]
Ramnit Worm Goes After Facebook Credentials [PCWorld]
Ramnit Goes Social [Seculert]

Paul Eng

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